Deep Level by Richard E Rock / #Interview #Blogtour @rararesources

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When Rich stumbles upon a secret Victorian underground network, he sees not only a great historical discovery, but also a way out of his humdrum life. He convinces three of his friends to join him, and together they venture deep into the maze of tunnels beneath London’s bustling streets.

A rude girl made good. An aspiring writer. A cinema usher from Wales. A bookseller who dreams of being an urban explorer. Four friends trapped together in one nightmarish situation as they realise some things are kept secret for a reason.

Will any of them manage to escape the horror that lurks in the DEEP LEVEL?

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Q&A

– When and where do you prefer to write?

I write whenever I can make time to write. I’ve been known to wake up at 4:30am, get myself a cuppa and get to it. Likewise, if I can’t sleep at night, I’ll stay up slaving over a hot keyboard. When a story has gotta come out, it’s gotta come out.

That’s the when, now what about the where?

Sometimes I’ll be sitting in the conservatory, sometimes in the spare room where the desktop is. Wherever I am, though, my cat Zeb always keeps me company.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

No rituals. I am a ritual-free zone. Unless you count putting the kettle on first.

– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

See above. I’m definitely a tea man, although I will have one cup of coffee during the day to keep me going.

– What is your favourite book?

It’s so hard to pick just one, but I’m going to go with On The Road by Jack Kerouac, specifically the Original Scroll edition. It’s just so vividly written, like a hundred-miles-per-hour technicolour stream of consciousness. Every time I pick it up I discover new joys inside. It really did change the way I think about the craft of writing.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Absolutely. The reason I write horror now is because I’m plagued by nightmares and anxiety dreams, so the ideas come to me without me even trying. I just wake up in the morning, grab my notepad and write down everything I can remember of my dream before it fades away.

However…

I have had a couple of dreams lately that would make for a wonderful fantasy novel, something along the lines of His Dark Materials. I’m very excited about it. But that’s for the future…

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

It always starts out that way, but then something magical happens. I always take little pieces of people I know (certain personality traits, foibles, characteristics) and mix them all up. But then, as the writing progresses, these characters invariably start to develop personalities of their own. They become people in their own right. It’s a joy to behold and one of my favourite aspects of writing fiction.

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

Sometimes. It depends where I am and what I’m doing. If I have an idea but don’t have a notepad with me, I’ll pull out my phone and record a brief audiofile, just so I don’t forget it.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

I listen to extreme metal, write horror stories and love getting tattooed, so naturally I’d have to say romance. Now, just to clarify, I don’t have any disrespect for the romance genre, and I certainly don’t look down my nose at it. Writing a good romantic novel takes no less skill and craftsmanship than writing a good book in any other genre. It’s just not for me, that’s all.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

The obvious answer here would be Stephen King. After all, he is the master of the modern horror novel.

But…

I really do believe that it’s good to mix things up a bit, so I’m going to say Zadie Smith. I think she’s a phenomenal writer. In this game, one often hears talk of “the voice”. Well, Zadie Smith has got “groove”. There’s an almost effortless fluidity to her prose which I find irresistible as a reader. When I pick up one of her books my eyes just slip over the words.

I think I could learn a great deal from her.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I am a MASSIVE fan of Norwegian Black Metal, so there’s your answer. I would like to set one of my aforementioned fantasy novels in ancient Norway. There’s something otherworldly about the landscape, and Norse mythology is so rich and inspiring. It lends itself very naturally to the fantasy genre, I think. And besides, I do love a bit of snow and ice, and we never get much of it where I live by the sea!

Thank you, Richard E Rock and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the Author 

By day, Richard E. Rock works as a commercial scriptwriter for radio and contributes ideas to Viz Comic. But by night…he writes horror.

He was inspired to do this after experiencing a series of particularly ferocious nightmares. After waking up and realising he could turn these into utterly horrible stories, he started deliberately inducing them.

Based in Wales, he lives with his girlfriend and their cat. If you’re looking for him, you’ll probably find him wedged up against the barrier at a heavy metal gig, for that is his natural habitat.

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Author  Links 

Twitter: @richarderock1

                                        Instagram: Richard-e-rock

                                        Facebook: Richard E. Rock – horror writer

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Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deep-Level-Richard-Rock-ebook/dp/B08FJ7LY11

US  – https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Level-Richard-Rock-ebook/dp/B08FJ7LY11

Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons: Stories by Keith Rosson / #Interview #BlogTour @meerkatpress @Keith_Rosson

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With the Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, award-winning author Keith Rosson delves into notions of family, grief, identity, indebtedness, loss, and hope, with the surefooted merging of literary fiction and magical realism he’s explored in previous novels. In “Dunsmuir,” a newly sober husband buys a hearse to help his wife spread her sister’s ashes, while “The Lesser Horsemen” illustrates what happens when God instructs the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to go on a team-building cruise as a way of boosting their frayed morale. In “Brad Benske and the Hand of Light,” an estranged husband seeks his wife’s whereabouts through a fortuneteller after she absconds with a cult, and in “High Tide,” a grieving man ruminates on his brother’s life as a monster terrorizes their coastal town. With grace, imagination, and a brazen gallows humor, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons merges the fantastic and the everyday, and includes a number of Rosson’s unpublished stories, as well as award-winning favorites.

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Q&A

1. When and where do you prefer to write?

My wife and I have kids now, and with safety measures with COVID and all of that, time alone is a treasure these days. I usually manage maybe two hours before the kids wake up; it’s become harder to keep the thread and momentum going, writing-wise, but hopefully that’ll change once we have a more reliable schedule and I’m able to focus on writing for more extended amounts of time.

2. Do you have a certain ritual?

I mean, a cup of coffee and some kind of music and I’m good to go. I’ve been listening to Randy Weston’s African Cookbook, Dave Hause’s Bury Me In Philly, and The Ghosts of Highway 20 by Lucinda Williams. If a story isn’t working, I’ll sit down with a notebook and try it that way for a morning; a lot of times it kickstarts something that was otherwise stuck.

3. Is there a drink of something to nibble on while you write?

Yep, as I mentioned, if I don’t have a cup of coffee nearby, it feels like something’s missing.

4. What is/are your favourite book(s)?

That’s a tough one. The last few books that really resonated with me were Margaret Wappler’s Neon Green and John Jacob Horner’s A Lush and Seething Hell. Right now I’m reading And I Do Not Forgive You by Amber Sparks and Laird Hunt’s In the House in the Dark of the Woods, and they’re both fantastic for very different reasons. There is no shortage of flat-out incredible books being written today.

5. Do you consider writing a different genre or do you already do that?

I seem constitutionally incapable of writing in a single genre. All of my work is a mashup of some sort – literary fiction and… something else. Cosmic horror, body horror, crime, whatever. If I could write in a single genre, it’d be such a relief, but I just can’t seem to do it. I need both intricate backstories and emotional upheaval and ghosts or werewolves or robots or whatever.

6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

I think little blips and bleeps of people creep in here and there. But I feel a lot more comfortable mining my own personal shortcomings or strengths for fiction than I do other folks, you know?

7. Do you take a (digital) notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

Me too tired for such tomfoolery. Me primary parent for two toddlers. Me lucky to be able to hold spit in my mouth most days. Me admit to have probably lost out on a lot of cool ideas due to this.

8. Which genre(s) do you not like at all?

I don’t want to dogpile on any genre, honestly. There’s stuff that I don’t like to read, personally, but other folks love it, so it’s all great. This is a big tent we have. I will say that there are tropes that I am exhausted by – the whole “assaulted or murdered woman existing solely as revenge catalyst for male main character” in crime (and other fiction) can take a leap into the sun as far as I’m concerned.

9. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Mmmm, probably Ron Austin, who wrote the wonderful collection Avery Colt is a Snake, a Thief, a Liar, which won the Nilsen Prize. Dude is such a great writer, and he and I have a lot of the same sensibilities and influences. Working on something with him would be cool.

10. If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

That’s a solid question. My previous novel Road Seven takes place in a small, fictionalized country off the coast of Iceland. I had to do a lot of research regarding the area, and it’s obvious that actually being able to go there would have helped that aspect tremendously. Right now, though, I have no plans to do any writing that’s set outside of the country. Though I certainly wouldn’t mind being to travel back in time to, say, the Stanford Research Institute in the 1970s, when military-backed remote viewing programs were being run by the CIA. Stuff like that – again, such a niche thing, a particular and genre-focused thing – is endlessly fascinating to me.

Thank you, Keith Rosson and Meerkat Press

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About the author

Keith Rosson is the author of the novels The Mercy of the Tide (2017, Meerkat Press) and Smoke City (2018, Meerkat Press). His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, Redivider, December, and more. He is an advocate of both public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape.

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Author Link

keithrosson.com

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Book Links

Meerkat Press | Amazon Barnes & Noble

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Giveaway

$50 Book Shopping Spree!

GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f291bd826/?

JC’s Cure for CANCER by Mike Scantlebury / #Interview @MikeScantlebury

 

:“Amelia Hartliss Mysteries” series, Book 17

What would you want the world to give you if you discovered the cure for cancer? Jeremy Ceremony thinks he’s done just that, and he wants cash. Some people are calling him ‘Jermy Cer-money’ because of it. Strangely, Melia has never heard of the man, but several people she does know, love, and care about are afflicted by the disease and she would really like it if none of them died. Well, some do and some don’t. Why that should be is a mystery. It’s also a mystery that Salford seems overrun by people with grudges, eager to settle scores and balance the books, maybe quickly, while they are still alive. If only Mickey was here to help her, but Melia is alone – not for the first time – facing a terrifying old adversary, someone whose feelings for her have only just been realised. What is she going to do, now and in the future? Some people say she needs to move on, and apply for that top job at the Unit. But for the life of her, Melia can’t seem to make up her mind about anything. Maybe Deputy Director Caulfield will have to do the thinking for her. (If only he would stop finding bombs in bags, life would be so much simpler – and last longer.)

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Q&A

How did you come up with a title for your latest book?

I like to be topical. Sitting down in 2020 to work on a new thriller, I just knew for sure I would have to get a reference to virus, vaccine, Lockdown, or anything from my current experience.

‘CO-VID 2020’ just seemed ideal to meet that need.

How do you pick a cover for this book?

Luckily, I live in Salford England, which is known around the world as ‘Media City UK’. It’s no surprise that there are writers, film makers, artists and illustrators living in the immediate area.

For the last few years I have been able to call on Mike Ather, an exceptional artist who lives just around the corner from my house. He is a great person to work with. He takes up any challenge. When I told him I wanted a cover that included a vision of zombies emerging from the ground, it didn’t phase him at all, even when – Well, I told him the story was going to be told in three parts, three short novels, like a Trilogy, and I wanted each cover to be similar, but say ‘Part One’, ‘Part Two’, ‘Part Three’, and although the pictures on the front are the same, the books are colour coded – Red, Amber, Green, like traffic lights.

When and where do you prefer to write?

If you called on me unexpectedly, you would probably find me in the kitchen. I write books that are very plot heavy, so I need lots and lots of planning. I would most likely have small and ripped pieces of paper spread out all over the table, and I would be busy shuffling them back and forth, sideways, up and down, until everything seemed to be placed into an order that felt right.

When I actually start entering text I can do that anywhere, on a sofa, in bed, or leaning up against the washing machine. There was a time, when I would even grab a laptop and head for the garden, but such outside appearences are frowned on at the moment in Britain. We’ve all been ordered to stay inside.

Do you need peace and quiet when you are wrting?

I’m not one of these writers who puts together a Mix Tape of favourite old pop songs, or even the Classics, as inspirational music.

When I write I need to pay attention to the voice in my head. I can’t talk to anyone else and I certainly don’t want to have to listen to other people’s conversations. It distracts me, and sends my stories off into unwanted realms.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

This has never happened. But what has happened is that I have asked people to suggest characters for me to use in more than one of my books. In a recent novel, ‘Global Markets, Part 2’ I wrote to my Mailing List and asked them to fill in a ‘Character Form’ that I had invented. They had to fill in their own details on the left hand side and facts about their imaginary character on the right. I managed to work all of their suggestions into the narrative – although one ‘character’ had to undergo a change of sex, and one started the book with an alias, only to be revealed later as the suggested character.

We all had a lot of fun with that. To me, it started out with me thinking I was making a film and inviting all my friends to play the bit parts – taxi driver, bartender, Border Guard. However, that was only the intention, and it turned out to be far more complicated. Contributors were pleased to discover in the end that they took major parts in the ‘movie’, often starring roles!

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

Again, I’m a bit of an unexpected novelist. As well as writing books I have been involved in my local Community Radio Station for many years. It’s called Salford City Radio and it broadcasts on 94.4fm or you can find it online at SalfordCityRadio.org

My wife and I have a weekly programme at 11am on a Wednesday. We play music and Folk-type songs – some of which we write and perform ourselves – and we have been going out and interviewing people for years, (although a lot of that has been confined to the internet in the last year, because of the virus). We save long conversations and then edit them down into 3 minute segments and put them between the musical interludes. So, you see, it’s a question of Yes, I am an interviewer and have been for a while, although my targets are seldom writers. I much prefer ordinary down-to-earth people – you can learn so much!

Where can I find you when you are not writing?

I am a great disappointment to my family and friends. When I’m working at the kitchen table, or when I’m in front of a keyboard, then they can just barely understand that as ‘writing’. But then they conclude that when I’m not doing that, I must be present, right here, with them. However, sometimes, when I’m having dinner, or attending a get-together, you will find me staring out of the window – writing.

My conclusion is that I’m ‘writing’ most days of the week and most hours of the day, if you understand that my writing is all about plot. There are people in my stories and they move around, interact and clash. Before I can put it all down on paper I need to know where they will be and what they will be doing. So, it might seem like a blank look on my face but the thought in my head might be, ‘How a I going to end Chapter 7?’ or ‘How does the Doctor get back to the hospital before them?’ That planning and sorting takes up most of my brain power. I haven’t got room for much else.

What distinguishes your books from other modern crime fiction mystery thrillers?

In a word – No Swearing. Oh sorry, that’s two words. Darn.

But it’s true. My ‘baddies’ might be big, bad bank robbers, kidnappers and terrorists, but for some reason they never stoop to profanity.

It’s just a quirk of mine.

Thank you, Mike Scantlebury

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About the author

What can you say about Mike Scantlebury –

that isn’t taught in schools already?

Well, he says he was born in absentia (the small town on the Bay of Biscay), beside the dock of the bay, but moved to England when  young, and not yet able to navigate astutely. His family settled in the West Country of England, near a cross culture called Temp Chelney, where his father became a map maker and mushroom farmer.

 When the borders were changed in the 1980s, Mike packed a service record and moved to an apartment in the nearby city of Bristol. This is where he first got involved in folking, flaking and faking. Later, he became disenchanted.

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Author Links

Website:  http://www.Salford.me/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/mikescantlebury99

Twitter:  http://www.twtiter.com/MikeScantlebury

Blog:  http://www.MikeScantlebury.blog/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5404567.Mike_Scantlebury

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mikescantlebury99/

https://mikescantlebury.blogspot.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChNCqTPL_K8u7wGBTGNw-0A

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Book Link

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/CURE-CANCER-Amelia-Hartliss-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07C5362SK/

Reduced from 2.99$ to 0.99$ this month

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The Search by Michael L. Ross / #Interview #Blogtour @maryanneyarde @MichaelLRoss7

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Across the Great Divide #2

Where do you go when home is no longer an option?

The guns of the Civil War have ceased firing, and the shots are but an echo… yet the war rages on, deep inside Will Crump’s soul. His “soldier’s heart” is searching for peace, and in that quest Will joins the westward movement, setting his path on a collision course with adventure, loss, and love.

The Westward Expansion floods the sacred, untouched lands with immigrants, bringing conflict to the Shoshone, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Amidst the chaos Will finds safety in the shadow of the US Army, but the army brings battle-hardened troops into Red Cloud’s War, pulling Will into a tornado of conflict. Broken treaties and promises leave both sides searching for answers. Will’s search leads him to a battle for survival, and there he finds a love that could change him forever.

Dove, a young Shoshone woman, is a survivor of the Bear Creek Massacre. After being kidnapped and escaping from the Cheyenne, she joins Will’s search, seeking where she belongs. Dove longs for more than the restricted role placed on women in her tribe. If she can learn to trust a white man, he just might help her find home… and hope.

Together, Will and Dove must search for understanding, and reach Across the Great Divide.

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Q&A

  1. When and where do you prefer to write? 

I have a “writing cave” upstairs at our house, about 14 feet by 20 feet, lined with stone at one end.  My “cave” has resource books, an easy chair, a desk, refrigerator, coffee pot, big screen TV (rarely used), and contains several computers along with my violin. When I feel stuck on a scene, I stop and play the violin for a while. Since I am “retired” (meaning I write full time), I’m involved in researching, writing, or reading most days. My favorite time to write is from three to seven AM several days a week.

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  1. Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

Yes, I much prefer peace and quiet. Occasionally I will listen to Bach or Mozart, but dead silence is the usual mode. I grew used to it during my days as a software engineer and find that it still helps to concentrate and not forget details.

When editing, I often listen to the text read aloud, which helps to catch errors. Very occasionally editing demands Casting Crowns, Led Zeppelin, or Emerson, Lake, and Palmer music.

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  1. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with? 

I suppose most people would pick someone famous – but I’d prefer to work with someone that I feel would be a good team member. I’d probably choose either Paula Scott or Sophie Schiller, both HNS members and veterans of several books. Paula and Sophie are good book friends that I’ve conversed with online and shared writing journeys. If I were choosing someone famous, it might be Kate Quinn or Karen Kingsbury – I adore Kate’s books, though I don’t know her personally. I met Karen K. once, and she was a delight to talk to about her process.

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  1. Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

I used to be involved in community theatre and almost had a screen test when I was a child (Mom prevented it). I’ve always thought portraying villains was more interesting than being the hero. If not the villain, then a very troubled hero, like Billy in Carousel. As long as the “bad one” isn’t just a stereotype, I’d rather be “the bad one.” It gives you more problems to solve and illustrate.

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  1. Who would you like/have liked to interview?

That’s a tough one because there are so many people I’d love to have interviewed. My main character, Will Crump, tops the list since he was a real person. I knew his granddaughter, but there are many questions I’d like to ask. Abraham Lincoln, William Still, Jim Bridger, and Chief Washakie of the Shoshone are a few others.

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Caption: Will Crump, January 1940 shortly before his death. Used by permission of Crump family. Will’s great grandniece (pictured) sent it to me.

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  1. Where can I find you when you are reading?

That would be just about everywhere! I read on my phone whenever I have to wait for someone. I read in my “cave”. I read in bed before going to sleep. I listen to audiobooks when driving.

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  1. Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

Spending time with my wife or grandkids, mostly. My wife loves to be outdoors, and occasionally indulges me with historical trips. I’m learning to swim in my old age and go to the YMCA a few times a week. I also do woodworking projects, and have a shop in a little shed by our house. Sadly, I had to give up my avocation of riding horses when we moved to Kansas a few years ago due to time constraints. And then there’s the time I spend working on the Historical Novel Society as part of the board.

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  1. What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Finally! That’s probably the main thought. Books are like raising children – a lot of learning, patience, labor, frustration, and joy. It’s like watching the graduation and launching your child into the world.

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  1. How do you come up with a title for your book?

I like simple titles and reflect the theme of the book. For Clouds of War I felt that encapsulated what the book was about, dealing with the issues that led to the Civil War, and then going through the war itself, how it affected families. The Search sums up the whole book in a word, as Will searches for God, himself, peace, and meaning. Dove is involved in her search, as she tries to understand how to reconcile her desires and personality with the customs of her people, her relationship with Will, and white society. I’ve also learned the importance of checking to assure that my title is unique!

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  1. How do you pick a cover for your book?

I take a poll among beta readers and friends. Harper Collins designed the cover for Clouds of War and took my original concept of crossed flags, adding the divided family on each side. They offered three different color palettes for the same design, and I asked my beta readers and local library. The library does a weekly cover commentary on new books online. The reality is that people do choose books by their covers, and most readers are women – I’m not one, so I look for outside input. Jenny Quinlan, Chairperson of HNS, and head of historicalfictionbookcovers.com designed the cover for The Search. Jenny is well known in the community for her gorgeous cover designs. She presented me with ten different choices, not just color variations, but completely different covers. After taking a poll among beta readers, we combined aspects of two of them for the final cover.

Thank you, Michael L. Ross and The Coffee Pot Book Club

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About the Author 

Best-selling author Michael Ross is a lover of history and great stories. He’s a retired software engineer turned author, with three children and five grandchildren, living in Newton, Kansas with his wife of forty years. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, and still loves Texas. The main character of “Across the Great Divide”, William Dorsey Crump, is one of the founders of Lubbock and Shallowater, Texas. Michael knew Will’s granddaughter when he was a child. He has written a scholarly article on Will Crump for the Texas Historical Society, published in the Handbook of Texas Online, and has sold short stories in the past. This is his first novel and the first in the Across the Great Divide series, now an Amazon bestseller. Michael attended Rice University as an undergraduate, and Portland State University for his graduate degree. He has degrees in computer science, software engineering, and German. In his spare time, Michael loves to go fishing, riding horses, and play with his grandchildren, who are currently all under six years old. He sees many parallels between the time of the Civil War and our divided nation of today. Sanctuary cities, immigration, arguments around the holiday table, threats of secession – all are nothing new. Sometimes, to understand the present, you have to look at the past- and reach Across the Great Divide.

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Author Links

Website: https://historicalnovelsrus.com

Blog: https://historicalnovelsrus.com/blog

Newsletter sign up: http://www.historicalnovelsrus.com/contact

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaellross7

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historicalnovelsrus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/historicalnovelsrus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-ross-87505026

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Book Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Across-Great-Divide-Book-ebook/dp/B08NWFHLFN

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Search-Across-Great-Divide-Book-ebook/dp/B08NWFHLFN

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Search-Across-Great-Divide-Book-ebook/dp/B08NWFHLFN

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Search-Across-Great-Divide-Book-ebook/dp/B08NWFHLFN

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-search-michael-l-ross/1138420511

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-search-100

The Duke’s Runaway Bride by Jenni Fletcher / #Interview #PublicationDayPush @rararesources @JenniAuthor

 

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From shopkeeper… To Duke’s wife

When Beatrix, Duchess of Howden, writes to her estranged husband offering a divorce, she’s stunned when he arrives on her doorstep with a different proposition: a six-week marriage trial! Quinton Roxbury seems cold and inscrutable, but Beatrix gradually realises his rough exterior hides a heavy burden. As their connection deepens, dare she trust him with her own scandalous past and risk the marriage she never knew she wanted?

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Q&A

When and where do you prefer to write?

Either first thing in the morning or late at night at my dining room table, but at the moment I’m fitting it in whenever and wherever I can thanks to homeschooling. It’s a challenge!

Do you have a certain ritual?

No, but I find it hard to sit down anywhere without a mug of caffeine. One day, if I ever have my own desk (or my dream, an office/library) I’ll have to develop some kind of ritual, but right now, I don’t think I have time!

Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

Coffee in the mornings, tea in the afternoons and when I’m nearing the final draft, chocolate truffles. They help me get through reading the same chapter over and over again. Honestly, so much chocolate goes into each book.

What is your favourite book?

That’s an impossible question. Some books I love to read for enjoyment, others mean a lot to me personally and others have changed my perspective on life, but I can’t pick a favourite. Sorry, I know that’s a terrible answer (so maybe Anne of Green Gables for being the first book I truly fell in love with).

Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Definitely. I’d like to write more historical or possibly historical mystery. Hopefully later this year.

Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Haha, yes! One of the little boys in Unexpectedly Wed to the Officer is based on my son so that book is dedicated to him. There are others, but I probably shouldn’t say.

Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

Always. Or post-its, which I then lose or can’t decipher.

Which genre do you not like at all?

Crime, especially violent crime.

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Jane Austen. I would just agree to all her ideas and be so sycophantic that she’d probably hate me.

If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

Iceland. I’ve always wanted to go and sit in a thermal spring while looking at ice-capped mountains. Or somewhere in Scandinavia. I like cold places.

Thank you, Jenni Fletcher and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author

Jenni Fletcher was born in Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels ranging from the Roman to late Victorian eras. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull and has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards, winning for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. She teaches Creative Writing at a university in the north of England and her favourite hobbies are baking and, of course, reading.

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Author Links 

https://twitter.com/JenniAuthor

https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletcherAuthor/

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Book Links

Amazon UK  https://amzn.to/2HP64em

Amazon. com https://amzn.to/35A0gPb

Kobo https://bit.ly/36CPLKp

WHSmith https://bit.ly/36BUpsc

Escaping From The Shadows by C L Tustin / #Interview #Blogtour @rararesources

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Anastasia Travess is caring, beautiful and talented, but all her life her abusive father has kept her down. Seeking love wherever she can there has only ever been one man she trusts, one man who makes her complete and he rejected her years ago.

Piers Talbot is an enigma, a charming bachelor with only one woman in his heart. But when offered a choice between fixing his estranged family and obtaining his heart’s desire he makes probably the worst decision of his life.

When Anastasia rekindles her past relationship with Piers’ younger brother, the lines between love and loyalty become blurred. Amid danger, betrayal and deception, Anastasia is forced to question everything she thought she knew.

But will Anastasia have the courage to escape from the shadows?

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Q&A

– When and where do you prefer to write?

I prefer mornings or late evenings and either on my laptop at the table or on the sofa (usually pen and paper) with the radio on.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

Not really, but I do like to re-read any new material before carrying on and again before I go to sleep. Sometimes any problems with plotlines or what a character is doing can be solved overnight.

– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

Pepsi max mainly and sometimes a glass of Baileys!

– What is your favourite book?

I found this a surprisingly difficult question…I love so many books, all by different people, that I don’t really have a favourite. But if I could only ever read one book again then it would have to be Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as every time I read it I get something new from it, I also adore the characters.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

I have planned a sci-fi adventure, so one day I would like to finish that.

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Not directly, maybe I have absorbed some of their idiosyncrasies or habits and used them for certain characters…don’t tell them!

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

I have notebooks all over the house as I do tend to suddenly come up with something and usually find it’s whilst I’m walking the dog and have to remember it till we get home. I’m sure I must have forgotten some really good lines over the years.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

In my teenage years I devoured horror books but now not so keen.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Another tricky one…Alison Weir, she is my favourite non-fiction writer and I would love to help with her brilliant history books.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I would like to travel to Egypt and see it for real, the tombs and the artefacts. History is a passion of mine and I have an idea for a book set in Old Kingdom Egypt, so soaking up some atmosphere would be a dream come true.

Thank you, C L Tustin and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the Author 

C L Tustin was born and raised in the East Midlands but spent her teenage years in Sydney, Australia. She has sung twice at the Sydney Opera House and also appeared singing live on Australian national television. Returning to the UK in 1989 via Singapore and the Middle East the travel bug has never left her and she has explored countries and cities across the world.

C L Tustin began writing at the age of 11 when she didn’t see why James Bond had to be a man and created a spy code named The Cat with 10 planned adventures. Her first published novel “Escaping from the Shadows” is a romance with an undertone of threat set in the social media free world of 1990. She is currently working on editing and completing her second romance “Desert Rose” whilst writing a brand new story “Flower of Death”. Future projects already planned include two Regency romances and a sci-fi thriller.

Whilst raising her son C L Tustin continued to balance writing and work with completing a BSc(Hons) in Science and a MSc(Merit) in Earth Science with the Open University. This was a most rewarding experience despite the long hours and hard work involved.

C L Tustin has worked for two major banks, a tool company, the MOD and the NHS. She has completed 3 Thames Bridges walking challenges for charity, volunteers for Butterfly Conservation and passionately supports rescue dogs. C L Tustin lives currently with her rescued 15 year old Jack Russell Terrier and a diverse collection of books and sci-fi memorabilia.

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Author Link

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/C-L-Tustin-Author-109346397535473

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Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Escaping-Shadows-C-L-Tustin-ebook/dp/B08R7F9R1F

US – https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Shadows-C-L-Tustin-ebook/dp/B08R7F9R1F

The Wicked Sister by Virginia Barlow / #Interview #BlogTour @pumpupyourbook @Virgini35142126

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With her stepfather’s sudden death, Lady Anastasia Covington goes from living a privileged lifestyle to selling vegetables in the village marketplace in the blink of an eye. Alone and at the mercy of her nefarious stepsister, she yearns for love and acceptance.

Disguised as a simple soldier, Prince Percival catches a dark-haired emerald-eyed beauty in his arms. He is bewitched. The more he sees her, the more intrigued he is by her contradictions. Forced to keep his identity a secret, he must somehow convince Lady Anastasia he is the right man for her.

But time is running out. Lady Anastasia’s mother is determined to find a proper suitor and see her wed. And someone wants her dead.

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Book trailer

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Q&A

When and where do you prefer to write?

I write at my desk. It faces the window and I can see outside while I work. I prefer to write in the mornings when I am alone.

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

I need peace and relative quiet. I can work with my family members here, but when they distract me with questions etc., it gets tough. As far as quiet, as long as no one is talking loudly or crying, I can still work.

If you had a chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

J. K. Rowling. She has an incredible imagination. I think it would be an experience to remember.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

I would rather be the bad one. If you’re bad you don’t have to play by the rules.

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is one of the most beloved romance stories of all time.

Where can I find you when you are reading?

I usually read in my room or on the sofa. I like to be comfortable.

Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

When I’m not reading or writing I am doing laundry, picking up the children from school, doing dishes, cooking, etc.

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

It is one of the most exciting things in my life. It rates second only to holding your newborn for the first time.

How do you come up with a title for your book?

When I am writing a story I toss ideas around and write possibilities out until a title seems to fit.

How do you pick a cover for your book?

I haven’t picked a cover yet. The Wild Rose Press has a group of professionals who design them for me.

Thank you, Virginia Barlow and Pump Up Your Book

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About the Author

Virginia has a zest for life. She has accomplished many goals including raising a large family. She has been a bookkeeper, a hostess, an EMT-I, a lieutenant in the local fire department, a manager and an author. She likes to knit, crochet, quilt and sew. She is funny, talented and very creative. Virginia looks at life through rose colored glasses and owns it. She is happiest when is at her computer immersed in her current novel. She loves to sip coffee or wine while she contemplates whether to kill off characters in her book or not. Virginia is a good friend and has an endless supply of love for friends and family.

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Author Links

Website: https//www.virginia-barlow.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Virgini35142126

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3046288755596817

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Book Links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3no3v1P

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/39cAcdC

Walmart: https://bit.ly/38scefb

Audible: https://adbl.co/2JYuiEv

Locks by Ashleigh Nugent / #Interview #Blogtour @rararesources @LocksBook

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A Story Based on True Events

“1993 was the year that Stephen Lawrence got murdered by racists, and I became an angry Black lad with a ‘chip on his shoulder’.”

Aeon is a mixed-race teenager from an English suburb. He is desperate to be understand the Black identity foisted on him by racist police, teachers, and ‘friends’. For want of Black role models, Aeon has immersed himself in gangsta rap, he’s trying to grow dreadlocks, and he’s bought himself some big red boots.

And now he’s in Jamaica.

Within days of being in Jamaica, Aeon has been mugged and stabbed, arrested and banged up.

Aeon has to fight for survival, fight for respect, and fight for his big red boots. And he has to fight for his identity because, here, Aeon is the White boy.

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Q&A

When and where do you prefer to write?

When and wherever I can. While writing LOCKS, this was in my tiny office in the back garden after finishing work and putting the kids to bed.

Do you have a certain ritual?

Not really. My ritual is simple: Crack on!

Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

Coffee. Lots of coffee.

What is your favourite book?

The Boudica tetralogy by Manda Scott.

Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Yes. LOCKS is a literary memoir. I intend to write a historical fiction set when the Spanish first imported African slaves to the Caribbean.

Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Yes. Most of the characters in LOCKS are amalgamations of numerous people I know. I observe interesting traits in the people around me and they inspire my characters.

Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

In my twenties I used to have to find old bus tickets and receipts to write on before the ideas passed me by. So, yes, I now carry a notebook and pen in my man-bag, which goes everywhere with me.

Which genre do you not like at all?

Crime fiction.

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

It would be great to have Joseph Campbell on hand to advise on mythical themes.

If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

I intend to travel to the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula, and the west coast of Africa to research for my aforementioned forthcoming book. I need to get to know the three cultures involved as much as possible in order to authentically represent them.

Thank you, Ashleigh Nugent and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author 

Ashleigh Nugent has been published in academic journals, poetry anthologies, and magazines. His latest work, LOCKS, is based on a true story: the time he spent his 17th birthday in a Jamaican detention centre. LOCKS won the 2013 Commonword Memoir Competition and has had excerpts published by Writing on the Wall and in bido lito magazine. Ashleigh’s one-man-show, based on LOCKS, has won support from SLATE / Eclipse Theatre, and won a bursary from Live Theatre, Newcastle. The show has received rave audience reviews following showings in theatres and prisons throughout the UK. Ashleigh is also a director at RiseUp CiC, where he uses his own life experience, writing, and performance to support prisoners and inspire change.

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Author Links 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LocksBook

Twitter – @LocksBook

Instagram – @locksbook

Youtube Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8TVrX7J2j4

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Book Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/LOCKS-Story-Based-True-Events-ebook/dp/B08JCZ9D71/

Orders also available from: www.newsfromnowhere.org.uk

The Visitor by Louvie G. Tucker / #Interview #Blogtour @rararesources

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Book 1 of the Corrupted Genes series

Nusans don’t cause trouble. Peter is a good Nusan. Single, annoyed with his best friend’s constant blind dates, and comfortably provided for with his job as a genmod technician, he spends his days telling expectant parents what their unborn children will look like. For a fee, he can modify physical and mental traits.

To ensure Nusa’s perfect society, however, it is law that all babies must be born with white skin, an IQ 120 or above, and without any illnesses or disabilities. These modifications are free of charge. It’s the law. And good Nusans obey the law. The people of Susa, however, are known to be troublemakers.

Thank goodness the dark-skinned Susans all live south of the border, in Susa. The closest Peter ever has to come to a dangerous Susan is either on the silver screen being vanquished by a heroic Nusan hero or on the news as deporters — the force charged to keep Nusa safe — prepare to send them south to Susa.

That is, until a dark-skinned visitor is suddenly inside the four walls of Peter’s quiet existence. Snarky. Irreverent and without any regard for the rules, the stranger should be a Susan but is he? Why is he claiming to have fallen from the stars?

Everything Peter knows is suddenly in question and even his status as a good Nusan is under threat as deporters seek him out on suspicion of a capital crime. Has Peter caused trouble?

Life as Peter has known it is fragile. Can he survive long enough to learn the truth? And will he even want to believe it once he finds it? 

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Q&A

– When and where do you prefer to write?

I have tried writing sitting at my desk computer and lying in bed with a laptop. Hands down, I write best at my desk. When I write, I aim for the early morning before work when the world has yet to stir or on the weekends when I don’t have other engagements. The absolute best time to write is a Saturday morning as the sun begins to peek over the horizon.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

This may seem crass but I never work with my pants off or in a housecoat.

– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?

There isn’t. I’ve personally found that my brain gets too distracted if there is food in arm’s reach while working. Next thing I know, a whole bag of chips is missing!

What is your favourite book?

Can’t say I have a favorite. I do like some of the classics like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Lately, I have been re-reading stories by H. G. Wells. One of my favorites of his works is The Time Machine. I will say that one author I cannot read again is Jules Verne. I love his premises but his books feel more like picture-less encyclopedias than stories.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Maybe. I toyed around with the idea of writing a horror story but I don’t know the elements well enough to give it a decent try.

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

Yes and no. I try to give my characters traits and behaviors I’ve seen in other people whether they are family, friends, or random strangers I’ve encountered on the street or on the internet. I like to extrapolate why people behave certain ways and use that for my characters. Of course, my own behavior is also under this microscope.

Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

I have notebooks for my day job but not for writing. As I fall asleep, I like to tell myself stories and when I find one that I really like, I begin fleshing out some details. I do this enough times that the story just sticks. There is a story I thought up two years ago that I haven’t even begun writing but it hasn’t left my mind.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

Romance. Not that romance novels are bad. I believe we like stories that resonate with us and I can’t relate to romance stories. It’s just not for me.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book, whom would it be with?

Most likely my wife. In my opinion, she’s an amazing writer and has been writing since she was a small child. There have been plenty of times I told her of a story I have thought up and she would say, “We need to write a book together!”

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you choose and why?

Funny you should ask. I’ve lived in Japan for five years and China for one year. I also visited Mumbai for a week as well. In a sense, some inspiration has come from these countries. But, if I had to do new research in a country I’ve never been to, it would be somewhere like Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan or Angola. I have little to no clue what it is like to live in these countries and it would give me more experiences I can draw from to tell stories.

Thank you, Louvie G. Tucker and Rachel’s Random Resources

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About the author 

Louvie G. Tucker lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with his wife. Born in Buffalo, New York, he’s called various U.S. states, Japan, and China home at points in his life. When he’s not working in cyber security, he enjoys rock climbing, staying up to date on current events, keeping up with his Japanese language skills, and riding his bicycle. He is currently working on the second book in the Corrupted Genes series.

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Book Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Visitor-Corrupted-Genes-Book-ebook/dp/B08SKTB2CQ/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Visitor-Corrupted-Genes-Book-ebook/dp/B08SKTB2CQ/

The Morpheus Decision by Seeley James / #Interview #BlogTour @pumpupyourbook @SeeleyJamesAuth

 

 

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A Pia Sabel Mystery

Who killed Chloe England?

When a friend from her days in international soccer, now a British constable, is murdered, Pia Sabel uncovers an assassination ring catering to the ultra-rich – putting her dead center in their crosshairs.

For most of her life, Pia Sabel worked through the pain of losing her parents, threw herself into her work, and lived with insomnia. Now her doctor warns growing paranoia will soon threaten her mental health. She escapes to rural England to mourn the loss of her friend. On arrival, she is attacked by a mob, dismissed by officials, and ridiculed by high society for inquiring about an English Lord and a British institute. The more people tell her not to ask questions, the more she questions their motives.

Unconquered and unafraid, she investigates the murder and exposes a well-connected web of billionaire suspects. Along the way, she touches a nerve, bringing down an avalanche of killers on top of her. Unable to trust anyone, from the handsome Scot she wants to know better to Britain’s titled class, she must unravel the clues before more victims land in the morgue. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Pia finally discovers the truth about who killed Chloe England. A revelation sure to endanger everyone she loves.

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Q&A

When and where do you prefer to write? 

Anywhere, any time. Or perhaps I should say, everywhere all the time. I hike five miles up and down a local mountain every morning before dawn and even then, I’m thinking about what I’m going to write. When I get home, I take my laptop from dining room to office to patio, or wherever — and write. (If you’d like to see my office, I recorded a little tour here: http://seeleyjames.com/2021/01/a-video-tour-of-my-office/ .)

Pre-pandemic, I would occasionally go to coffee shops. When I went on longer hikes, such as the Grand Canyon or hiking Mt. Humphrey, I often found myself itching to write when I got back to the suite. I tried using dictation while hiking, although the heavy breathing sends conflicting messages to Siri,  and listening to the recordings later puts me off. So I just store up those ideas and wait for the cool down. 

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

Yes and no. I can listen to classical or jazz instrumentals but I can’t listen to music with lyrics. I also can’t concentrate when family members are talking nearby, although I can easily focus in a coffeeshop or on an airplane. The human mind is tuned to hear good and bad news from people we trust, hence the distraction with music or family. When it’s an overwhelming cacophony, we tend to tune it all out. I need to concentrate, so I seek an extreme: absolute quiet, melodic music, or lotsa noise. 

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with? 

I’m not sure I could. I marvel at Preston & Child and wonder about James Patterson. Over the years, it has become clear to me that it’s not just a desire to work with someone else, there has to be a working chemistry or it’s all pulp. The people I like to work with have strong, reasoned opinions, say what they mean, and live with the results without holding a grudge. I’d hate to work with one of my favorite authors only to find out he or she is impossible on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. There are some things you don’t want to discover. 

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

It wouldn’t matter to me as long as the character was well drawn. There’s nothing more unappealing than a wishy-washy character parading around with my moniker. Or worse, a character with no consistency. I’m not Tom Hanks, only a hero, never a bad guy. I’m more like Heath Ledger or Glen Close, give me a role and let me fill it to the max. 

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

I interviewed Roger Hobbs (Ghost Man, Vanishing Games) shortly before his tragic death. It was one of the most candid and interesting interviews about craft I’ve ever had. Which quite possibly was due to his drug problems that led to his overdose. I’d like to interview him again and include questions about his problems now that I’m aware. But that is more of a desire on my part to revise the past and fix something broken.

For a more upbeat interview, I’d like to interview any of the current crop of writers who subscribe to the “plot/outlines are bad” theory (Steven King, Patricia Cornwell, etc) and ask them if they don’t have a subconscious outline in their heads. Because their books all follow the Writer’s Journey to a T. I have an unsubstantiated belief that these “pantsers” are intuiting an outline without realizing it. 

Where can I find you when you are reading?

Everywhere I go, I have a book in my hand. If there is a minute to wait, at the doctor, in the airport, anywhere, I pull out my book and read. I’m a lover of hardbacks and have a fire-hazard of a home because of it. However, I also carry a Kindle Paperwhite for the books I need to study. I’m not particularly good at romance, so I’ll read Sandra Brown or Nora Roberts and highlight passages where relationships are blooming or crashing and study them later. I also use ebooks for my non-fiction research. 

Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?

On top of a mountain or at the bottom of a canyon. But even then, I often listen to audio books. 

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

Oh my gawd, I can’t believe I let that character have … damn. I can make that part much stronger in the next revision. (Which never happens.) 

How do you come up with a title for your book?

Having long admired the genius of Sue Grafton, I sat down one day to make a series title theme. I came up with “Decision” as in The Geneva Decision. Then I set that aside for two books because I planned for those to be classic mystery-who-done-its and didn’t feel my writing was where I wanted it. So I wrote two with exploratory titles, Bring It and Element 42. Both those featured a new character who fans loved. But they were thrillers, so I sat down and mapped out a series theme that would reflect thrillers. That became the “Death and” series with themed second words. The political trilogy were Death and: Treason, Secrets, and Vengeance. Then the personal trilogy consisted of Death and: Conspiracy, Betrayal, and Deception (with a fourth later this year called Redemption).

Last summer I felt ready to tackle the mystery genre with a you-can’t-guess-this-one story and went back to the roots. Which is why it’s called The Morpheus Decision. There will be at least two more “Decision” mysteries and, hopefully, a lot more. 

How do you pick a cover for your book?

I work closely with my cover designer Jeroen ten Berge. I tell him what it’s about, which are the big scenes, and he comes back with questions, then a couple ideas. We then massage the bits and pieces into a cover. He’s been great.

Thank you, Seeley James and Pump Up Your Book

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About the author

Seeley James’ near-death experiences range from talking a jealous husband into putting the gun down to spinning out on an icy freeway in heavy traffic without touching anything. His resume ranges from washing dishes to global technology management. His personal life ranges from homeless at 17, adopting a 3-year-old at 19, getting married at 37, fathering his last child at 43, hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim at 59, and taking the occasional nap.

Seeley’s writing career began with humble beginnings including publishing short stories in The Battered Suitcase leading to being awarded a Medallion from the Book Readers Appreciation Group. Seeley is best known for his Sabel Security series of thrillers featuring athlete and heiress Pia Sabel and her bodyguard and operative, veteran Jacob Stearne. One of them kicks ass and the other talks to the wrong god.

Seeley’s love of creativity began at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in computer technology sales and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction.

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Author Links

Website: http://www.seeleyjames.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seeleyjamesauthor/

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Book Link

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2LEBCWe